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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
April 21, 2011

Front Page Photo By DEWIE HAMILTON

Extreme Low Tide
Coast Guard Beach: Looking out toward Guard Island with sea urchins in the foreground
Front Page Photo By DEWIE HAMILTON

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April 2011
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University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Students to Graduate - The University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan announced that twenty-four students will be receiving degrees this spring.

The 2011 commencement ceremony for University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Ketchikan students will be held Saturday, April 30 at 3:00 PM at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. The public is invited to attend.

This year’s commencement keynote speaker is Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Ed Zastrow. UAS Chancellor John Pugh; UAS Ketchikan Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Priscilla Schulte; and University of Alaska Board of Regents members Timothy Brady of Anchorage, Carl Marrs of Anchorage and Bob Martin of Juneau will bestow honors and degrees at the ceremony. - More...
Thursday - April 21, 2011

Alaska: Begich Calls for Energy Action Now; Commonwealth North speech focused on short & long-term plans - Noting that rising energy prices are putting enormous strain on Alaskans’ pocketbooks, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) emphasized the need for elected officials and others to focus on both short and long-term plans to save on energy costs.

In a lunchtime speech yesterday to Commonwealth North, one of Alaska’s leading public policy organizations, Begich announced plans to introduce the Family Account to Save on Transportation (FAST) Act. Modeled after medical savings accounts, which allow individuals to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical costs, the FAST Act would allow employers to set up pre-tax transportation savings accounts to help offset the pain of high gas prices on Alaskans.

“With gas prices already more than four dollars a gallon, the average price is more than 95 cents higher than this time last year. In addition to focusing on long-term solutions for energy prices, the FAST Act could bring some short-term relief, allowing Alaskans to put some pre-tax money aside to help offset those costs,” Begich said.

The FAST Act would be designed to expire in two years so there would be no long-term burden on the federal budget.

Begich also focused on the need to bring new energy sources online for reliable electricity prices in the future and to buffer power companies from the price shocks of rising oil and gas prices. He said alternative energy sources such as wind, tidal and geothermal are available in Southcentral Alaska. In particular, he said, serious consideration needs to be given to projects at Mount Spurr and Fire Island. - More...
Thursday - April 21, 2011

SE Alaska - National: Gulf oil spill similar to Exxon Valdez in initial social and mental impacts, study finds - The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused social disruption and psychological stress among Gulf residents that is similar to the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill and the impacts are likely to persist for years, a new study finds.

"Just ask the residents of Cordova today whether they are over the Exxon Valdez," said study co-author Liesel Ritchie, assistant director for research of the University of Colorado Boulder's Natural Hazards Center. The Alaska community was considered "ground zero" for the 1989 oil spill.

The research was a collaborative effort among Ritchie, Duane Gill of Oklahoma State University and J. Steven Picou of the University of South Alabama, each of whom did similar work in Cordova. Major funding was provided by the National Science Foundation and the study's results have been accepted for publication in two peer-reviewed journals. - More...
Thursday - April 21, 2011

Southeast Alaska: NOAA LAW ENFORCEMENT TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS ON 2011 CHARTER HALIBUT REGULATIONS - Officers from NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement will hold public outreach meetings in several Southeast Alaska communities next month to discuss 2011 charter halibut fishing regulations and answer any questions from concerned parties.

NOAA Fisheries Enforcement will respond to questions from the public regarding charter, commercial, subsistence and recreational halibut fishing regulations, collection of marine mammal hard parts and marine mammal viewing regulations. Copies of the 2011 International Pacific Halibut Commission regulations will be available at the meetings. - More...
Thursday - April 21, 2011

Wrangell: Annual Stikine River Birding Fest Gearing Up – Visitors from all over Southeast Alaska will migrate to Wrangell this spring for the Annual Stikine River Birding Festival, taking place April 28 through May 1, 2011.

Wrangell is the gateway community for the Stikine River Delta, where the arrival of thousands of American Bald Eagles creates the largest springtime concentration in North America. The festival is also the perfect opportunity for adventurous birdwatchers to observe millions of shorebirds, which migrate to the delta each spring. This delta lies within the Wrangell Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest.

This year’s festival features guest artist Linda Infante Lyons, who will host student classes, an adult workshop, a public lecture, and an art exhibit. Weekend events include the Ducks Unlimited Banquet, guided bird walk with local author Bonnie Demerjian, talks by renowned Southeast Alaska naturalists Bob Armstrong and John Hudson, Sitka Raptor Center presentation, Muskeg Meadows Golf Tournament, and local arts and crafts fair. There will also be a Wrangell/Stikine Bird Photo Contest to encourage local birding. - More...
Thursday - April 21, 2011



Alaska Science: Visiting a far north ice cellar By NED ROZELL - As charter pilot Dave Lorring taxis a twin-engine Piper PA-31 Navajo through a dogleg in the Kivalina airstrip, he sees resident Perry Hawley waiting on top of a snowdrift with a snowmachine and a sled.

Visiting a far north ice cellar

Kenji Yoshikawa and Kivalina resident Perry Hawley pry the top from an ice cellar.
Photo by Ned Rozell

As soon as the Navajo props stop spinning, out jumps Kenji Yoshikawa, there for one of his patented science hit and runs. Yoshikawa is soon kneeling on a long wooden sled towed by Hawley, who heads for a few wooden tripods standing on the white arctic plain outside town.

The tripods mark the locations of three ice cellars - “sigluaqs” in Inupiat - chipped into the ground as a means to preserve food.

“This is the biggest cellar of the whaling communities,” Yoshikawa says as he and Hawley remove wind-packed snow from a half sheet of plywood that covers the cellar entrance.

Yoshikawa, a permafrost scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has climbed down ladders into ice cellars of every northern Alaska community that has them - Kaktovik, Barrow, Nuiqsut, Wainwright, Point Lay, Point Hope, Gambell, Savoonga, Wales, Kivalina and Little Diomede. People in the northernmost villages dug the chambers into ground that remains frozen all year to preserve chunks of bowhead or beluga whale. Villagers south of Point Hope use the ice cellars more as refrigerators to help them ferment walrus and other favorite foods.

After some chipping and digging, Yoshikawa reaches a second square of plywood that seals the entrance to the ice cellar. With help from Hawley, he levers it up and sets it aside, revealing a gorgeous growth of matchbook-size ice crystals underneath. For the first time in months, sunlight strikes a ladder covered with ice that extends 20 feet to the frozen floor of the sigluaq.

The ladder is encased in icicles as thick as Yoshikawa’s legs, making some of the rungs impassible.

“I’ll go get my ice chisel,” Hawley says. He hops on his snowmachine and drives home. - More...
Thursday - April 21, 2011


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696

letter Ketchikan Indian Community By David Jensen - Ketchikan Indian Community is a unique organization. It is a tribe of Indians, not in the traditional sense but an IRA. The Tribe was established under The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 which was extended to Alaska in 1937. KIC was chartered and incorporated and the original constitution was approved by the Secretary of the Interior in 1941. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter SPECIAL NOT-SO-SPECIAL SESSION By Mike Doogan - I’ve been to two goat ropings and a county fair, but I ain’t seen nothing like this before. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter WHY BERTHOLF “MATTERS” TO ALASKA By Rear Admiral Christopher C. Colvin - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter BERTHOLF stopped into the State Capitol for a brief port visit earlier last week.  It was the first Alaskan port visit for this new class of ship that will become critically important to Alaska.  Symbolic of its importance, Governor Parnell went aboard and graciously thanked the crew for their service to Alaska and the Nation. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter BLING ..... BLING ...... By Joey Garcia - It is unfortunate, really, that my inquiries about imposing drug-test to employees to focus on the rampant use and distribution of these menacing drugs can be seen, or felt, within the ranks and files of some of Ketchikan's fish processing companies. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter RE:Southeast Alaska's timber By Alexis Schofield - Did you SERIOUSLY just say "Whites"? This country is pretty equal opportunity if you ask me, you shouldn't hold it against an entrepreneur for making money, no matter what their race may be. EVERY race has EVERY opportunity to cash in if they are so inclined to do so. - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter Fair Treatment? By Jeff Orr - I am writing this letter the year I should have retired from the Airport Police in Ketchikan Alaska. 2011 - More...
Monday - April 18, 2011

letter Open apology to readers By Linda Gilson - I am writing in response to the thank you letter of FCCC. Some clarification of numbers raised is needed. Unfortunately in my haste to recognize once again the generous donations this winter by different groups to FCCC, I sent in to the secretary the amounts off the top of my head and have received phone calls regarding this. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 13, 2011

letter CALLING ALL ENTREPRENEURS By Deborah Hayden - On April 21-23 the University of Alaska, The Entrepreneurs and Mentors Network and Alaska Pacific University will sponsor an Entrepreneurship Boot Camp and Business Plan Competition. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 13, 2011

letter Misinformation By Robert Thompson - Lord, Help us! I must respond to Gerry Knasiak. There was so much misinformation in her letter that I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 13, 2011

letter KIC tribal council/ sick of the compliants By Jodi Marrow - I am responding to the letter that Charles Edwardson wrote regarding "sick and tired of complaints". I am Kyle Palmer's mother. My child has had to endure so much, my son was asleep when an intruder came into HIS apartment and shot him with a rifle in the face, changing his life forever. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 13, 2011

letter Southeast Alaska's timber By Douglas Burgess - Our corporation has yet more federal legislation that has been planned out without any real input from the traditional leadership. Tribal jobs have been given away to all Whites that lost their work due to the spotted owl. - More...
Wednesday PM - April 13, 2011

letter Sealaska By Ken Arriola - I have just one word to all the "Not In My Back Yard" activists opposing Sealaska... - More...
Wednesday PM - April 13, 2011

letterThanks to the membership By Cecelia Johnson - I would like to thank the KIC membership that have taken the time to get involved with their government. When you participate in "Persons to be Heard" on the council agenda, you are exercising your right, and I, as a council member appreciate that. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter KIC By Stephanie Rainwater - On my recent trip to Ketchikan, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with all the new construction projects going on within the Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC).  Capital Project Manager Construction Trades Lead Adjunct, Charles Edwardson and KIC President Norman Arriola gave me a tour of KIC’s Southern Southeast Technical College, which will provide training skills for Southeast Alaska youth, Native and non-native.  Norman Arriola stated, “Tribal Council established a college endowment fund to assist students’ to further their education, this was set up in 2007.” Last year Charles Edwardson used his personal funds to travel to the Legislative Fly to secure state funding for this project, this proved to be a successful endeavor, the state’s contribution was half a million dollars and according to Charles there is more state funding to come.  Hat’s Off to Charles Edwardson! Good Job Housing department and Tribal Council! - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter The Evil That Men Do ... By Florian Sever - Lisa Murkowski should take to heart the words of William Shakespeare. Many of his passages are relevant to modern events, and some are timeless. An example of the latter came to my mind after reading the SitNews article regarding Murkowski's re-introduction of the Sealaska Lands bill: "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones..." - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter How the top 1-2% have been the beneficiaries of government for the past 3 decades By Gerry Knasiak The GOP once stood for the Grand Old Party... no longer. It has become the Guardians of the Privileged. There are only two ways to create a reasonable budget... cut spending or increase revenues. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letter Ketchikan Indian Community By Charles Edwardson - Some readers of my last letter would like more information of who I am or felt the need to point out I worked for Ketchikan Indian Community -- as do several of my family members. If that was relevant to my concerns I would have included it in my letter. - More...
Monday - April 11, 2011

letterRE: Opposition to Sealaska legislation By Rick Harris - Sealaska’s land legislation is about jobs, environmental protection and cultural preservation. It has broad support because it protects local jobs and conservation areas that are treasured by all residents of Southeast Alaska. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterSEALASKA BILL NOT NECESSARY By Rebecca Knight - There is no credible justification for the Sealaska Lands Bill introduced again this week by Senator Murkowski. If enacted, the end result will be privatization of thousands of acres of cherished public lands including numerous so-called future sites, rights to several tidal, hydro and geothermal resources, use and access issues, and much more. That the corporation has been somehow prevented from making their final selections is the basic myth they perpetuate. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterHere We Go Again By Myla Poelstra Here we go again... it's payback time for Senator Murkowski. We all knew this was coming when Mr. Byron Mallot and Sen. Albert Kookesh appeared at the announcement ceremony for the Senator's unconventional write-in campaign. Endorsements from across the aisle by these two men who have traditionally supported Democrats foretold of the next round of legislation that was sure to follow. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter Vivian Phillips By Tony Hatano-Worrell - Vivian Phillips is more than just a great waitress. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterResponse to the union picket By Max Swaim - I did not see the picket at the bottom of Jefferson, but I do have something to say about the people complaining about the unions. I myself was born and raised here in Ketchikan and I'm from a family of loggers, fisherman, and hard working men. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter An Open Letter to the Ketchikan Community By The Board of First City Council on Cancer - First City Council on Cancer completed another wonderfully successful annual St. Patrick’s Day Auction on Saturday, March 12, 2011. This year’s auction total was $60,000. Once again our mission as an organization was fulfilled. We could not have accomplished that mission without the support provided by so many friends and volunteers. First City Council on Cancer is grateful for the many people who supported us this past year and who continue to support us year after year. We would like to recognize some of the additional community supporters and fundraisers: - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterSick and tired of KIC members' complaints By Sue Allen - First of all Mr. Edwardson you forgot to mention you work for KIC, so yes of course you'll say it's a great place to work. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterRE: Tired of KIC members whining By Tina Stephens - There are many services available from KIC, unfortunately many members are never offered the same treatment as other members who have found themselves in the same position. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter KIC Complaints By Cynthia Taylor - In response to Mr. Edwardson's letter about members of KIC complaining. First Mr. Edwardson I am glad you are sometimes employed by our corporation as is several of your family members. Must be nice! In case the people didn't know this. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterFront page photo by Jeremy Barry By MJ Cadle - Great cover photo! But I think it is a phenomenon called the green flash not northern lights. This phenomenon happens just after sunset as the sun goes behind the horizon, I have heard of it in the Caribbean, but never in Alaska though I do find reference online to it. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter Abortion, Re-Cross Examination: Part Two By Rob Holston - This letter concludes my response to Laura Allen’s letter of March 24 re: abortion. You seem indignant that I cited Wikipedia as a source describing “viability”. Yet you offered no better definition and no source at all. I used this information in my letter, published March 7, 2011, because it seemed in complete agreement with what I had learned in my university classes in biology, anatomy and kinesiology. If you can site a source describing viability as an exact point of development along the continuum from conception to birth then you probably will find numerous pediatricians arguing that they can deliver babies with less weight, less gestation and less development who are viable. Indeed if any point is determined it will always be seen as arbitrary and the question will begged to be asked “Can viability exist 5 seconds before this chosen point? 5 minutes before? 5 hours? 5 weeks? - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letter COMMANDMENT By Justin Eckstein - Why is it that Muslims claim Moses was a a prophet and the 10 Commandments given to Moses by OUR HEAVENLY FATHER on Mount Sinai clearly gives OUR HEAVENLY FATHER's Commandment not to kill while they believe in killing those who will not convert, and killing for other various reasons under Sharia Law. - More...
Friday PM - April 08, 2011

letterSick and tired of KIC members' complaints By Charles Edwardson - As a member of Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) I am very tired of all the whining and complaining about KIC. 99.9 percent of the complaints are from our own membership. The entire community is grateful for KIC and the economic impact we have region wide. Everyone it seems is aware of our positive activities and how we distribute our resources community wide -- everyone it seems but our own KIC membership, who are one of the most privileged tribes in the United States of America. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 05, 2011

letter Sharia Law vs: Alaska Law By A. M. Johnson - In today's Ketchikan Daily News 4/4/11 editorial column the subject of Rep. Carl Gatto's bill to establish that all judicial actions within the State of Alaska will be conducted under the terms of the State of Alaska Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. The stated purpose of the bill (HR88) is to confirm that these two documents will be the ONLY factors considered in Alaska courts. - More...
Tuesday AM - April 05, 2011

letter Public unions By Rex Barber - Today 04/04/11 on the corner of Tongass and Jefferson I saw something that broke my heart. A group of people supporting public unions. I'm sure every one of those people had the potential to be a great American. But instead they chose to act like a bunch of European cry babies, selling their souls both to government and Government unions. I'm all for a fair day's wage for a fair day's work,nbut what is fair about being forced to join a public union or risk losing your job? - More...
Tuesday AM - April 05, 2011

letterCost of Living in Ketchikan By Terri Anderson - I have traveled around Alaska and yes you are correct about the cost of living in Ketchikan, I've seen the highest rents and utilities there, and the lowest amount of services for that money. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter KCC performance By Judith Green - This weekend Ketchikan was once again treated to a wonderful live performance by our own talented community members, some from our outlying communities, and 3 professional string players from the State of Washington. We do not (yet) have a great nationally known music hall, but we do not lack for talent or enthusiasm for the performing arts and live performances. There is a specialness about live performance that one can only understand by being present. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Opposition to Sealaska legislation is diverse By Judy Magnuson - Southeast Alaska has been held in a state of turmoil and uncertainty for more than two years. This is when the majority of the public found out about the proposed Sealaska Bill and the far reaching impacts of this legislation. Once the public found out, and the issue was brought up at city council meetings all over Southeast, it created opposition to this legislation that spans across the full spectrum of people, user groups and communities in our area. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Know who you are By Lewis Amundson - Not all the the time do I know where I'm going, but I can say for sure I know where I've been. I'm an Alaskan and this is something I'm proud of. Our family has instilled something in us that set us apart from the rest of the states. We know that when people are in need we lend the hand to help, we stand up for what we think is right and we protect our family. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Sitka's Gift of Kazunoko By Jake Ingman - Japan is the major buyer of herring sac roe, called kazunoko. Kazunoko is traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve, often given as a gift. Kazunoko means many children and symbolizes fertility and family prosperity. In recent years, American fast food places have changed the taste of Japan s youth. Strong herring returns have produced more roe, while the demand in Japan has shrunk. Japan only wants half of this year's quota. Some see this as a reason to shut down this industry, but is that a good idea? - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Abortion By Paul Jarvi - Thank you Mr. Holston for your thoughts on the matter of abortion and the reminder of " Thou shall not kill." I wonder if our heros in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world can keep faith with this commandment and still do their job protecting our country. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter Re: Abortion: Re-cross Examination Part I By Cindi Davis - I just wanted to thank Rob for having the courage to stand up for the American citizens who are slaughtered every year. It is an unpopular stance and one that divides our nation, unfortunately. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

letter America Must Lead By Donald A. Moskowitz - The Libyan people rose up against their dictatorial and murderous president, and asked for world help to overthrow the tyrant and establish a democracy in Libya, but the world, including the U.S., delayed taking any action.  The western world wanted to study the situation. - More...
Monday - April 04, 2011

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